If you have unwanted hair, there are several different forms of hair removal to choose from. The general choice is between long term and short term hair removal methods. Short term methods last from 1 day to a couple of weeks, depending on the method and the growth rate of your hair. The long term methods can last from 5 to 10 years or a lifetime.
Shaving is the quickest, easiest, and least painful. However, it doesn't last very long. It only cuts the hair at the surface of the skin. For those with fast growing hair, you may need to shave everyday. Men with fast growing hair often have their facial hair growing back by the evening, hence the phrase 'five o-clock shadow'.
If you have a moderate amount of hair growth and you don't mind spending the time to shave and the money to buy razors and shaving cream, shaving will work just fine for you. If you want a longer lasting or more permanent solution, you should look at other options of hair removal.
Tweezing lasts a lot longer because you are pulling out the hair from the root of the hair follicle. It will take several weeks for the hair to come back. However, your hair grows in stages. While some hairs have been tweezed and won't grow back for a few weeks, there are other hairs that are ready to grow.
Tweezing is somewhat painful, but the more you do it in any one area, the less painful it is. If you tweeze your eyebrows on a regular basis, after a few years, you won't even notice any pain.
Tweezing is best for small areas that have minimal growth. For example, tweezing is great for grooming eyebrows but not so great for leg hair. If you want to spend minimal time on hair removal, use tweezing only for small areas. Tweezing also works well to get short hairs that you couldn't get with other methods.
Waxing works similarly to tweezing in that you are pulling the hair out by the root. Instead of doing one hair at a time, you are pulling out many hairs at once. This is more efficient, faster, and lasts longer, but it is messy and painful.
Waxing involves spreading a layer of very warm wax onto the skin then placing a cloth strip over-top and pressing it down. The strip is then ripped off, ideally taking any hair with it. One downfall is that you have to wait for the hair to grow in long enough in order to catch and pull them out.
When using wax, the temperature has to be just right. If it's too hot, you will burn your skin. If it's not hot enough, it won't pull out the hairs and will hurt more. Waxing also involves pulling on the skin as well as the hair usually causing more pain. If you are concerned about the process but still want it done, get it done professionally. Be very careful if you do it yourself.
Threading is another form of hair removal that pulls out the hairs. It is a popular hair removal method from India. A thin piece of thread is folded in half and twisted together. The ends of the thread are then pulled back and forth twisting the thread and pulling out any hairs in its path.
Threading is slightly more painful than tweezing because it takes out many hairs at once, but it is less painful than waxing because it doesn't pull on the skin. There are shops that will do threading for you professionally, or you can learn how to do it yourself. It's tricky to get a hang of it, but once you have, it's fast and mess-free.
An epilator is most similar to threading. In fact, it's just like threading but easier. The hairs are pulled from your skin but with a handheld machine instead. An epilator often looks just like an electric razor and is run along the skin in the same way, except tiny tweezers are pulling out the hairs along the way instead of a razor cutting them.
An epilator is probably the easiest way to pull hairs. It's not messy like wax and doesn't pull on the skin itself. It's much faster than tweezing, and it's much simpler and easier than threading. However, not all epilators are created equally. Some are hard to work and don't catch as many hairs. Also you have to wait until the hairs are long enough to grab.
If you want your hair free legs to last longer and you don't mind the pain, this is a great hair removal option. Be sure to invest in a good epilator.
Laser treatments are a semi-permanent hair removal technique. A laser is shown over the hair follicles and kills them. Laser hair removal is expensive and takes several sessions. The zapping laser can be painful, especially in sensitive areas such as the upper lip.
If you get a full series of sessions of laser treatments, you can usually expect to be mostly hair free in that area for 5 to 10 years or more. Some people see much longer results. Results vary by the individual. Those with dark hairs and fair skin often get the best results. Lasers don't work as well on fine hairs.
Electrolysis is the only known permanent procedure for hair removal. A tiny needle is slid into the hair follicle and a shock is sent through to kill the hair. It is a tedious process, but it works well, if done by a skilled electrolysis.
Some of the zapped hairs may still come back. They need to be zapped again. It will take regular treatments to clear an area. Hair grows in stages. You can get all the hairs in an area one week and have all new hairs the next. That is why you need to keep coming back. Eventually, you can get shorter treatments done less frequently until you are hair free.
Electrolysis is usually used for facial hair or other small areas because it is so tedious. It is recommended to use laser treatments for larger areas. Electrolysis is usually cheaper per session than laser treatments, but you need to go a lot more often.
Electrolysis may be more painful and take longer, but it's usually worth it when you can be hair free for the rest of your life. However, no hair removal treatment is perfect and you may have a few hairs now and then. Talk with a licensed electrolysis for treatment options.